US supports "immediate ceasefire" in Gaza in UN draft resolution – with a catch

New York, New York - The United States has submitted an amended draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for an "immediate ceasefire" in the Gaza Strip after months of wrangling.

On behalf of the United States, Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield has vetoed three prior Security Council resolutions calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
On behalf of the United States, Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield has vetoed three prior Security Council resolutions calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.  © ANGELA WEISS / AFP

The draft resolution, made available to dpa on Tuesday, calls for "an agreement for an immediate ceasefire of roughly six-weeks in Gaza together with the release of all hostages as soon as the parties agree."

The wording reflects comments made by Vice President Kamala Harris over the weekend, when she called for an "immediate ceasefire, for at least the next six weeks" due to "the immense scale of suffering in Gaza."

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is dire, with hunger growing among the population.

Zelensky urges allies to coerce Russia into peace using "all means" necessary
Ukraine conflict Zelensky urges allies to coerce Russia into peace using "all means" necessary

So far, more than 30,000 people have been killed and more than 70,000 have been injured in the last five months.

The proposed resolution falls short of calling for a permanent ceasefire, as demanded by growing numbers of American voters.

Washington vetoes prior ceasefire resolutions

Until recently, Washington, Israel's closest ally, had opposed the word "ceasefire" and vetoed three corresponding resolutions in the Security Council, the most powerful UN body.

But in view of the rising number of civilian casualties and the threat of famine in the Gaza Strip, the US is now stepping up the pressure on Israel to a limited degree.

The other 14 members of the Security Council can register changes to the draft. It is unclear when and whether a vote could be held.

Security Council resolutions are binding under international law. If an affected state ignores them, the body can impose sanctions.

Cover photo: ANGELA WEISS / AFP

More on Israel-Gaza War: